5 powerful productivity hacks
Our lives are busier than ever. With work, relationships and socialising, all competing for space in our diary, it’s easy to end the week in a daze with no idea where our time has gone.
This can be dangerous to those of us who run businesses, which is why I’ve put together a list of five hacks that will help your productivity levels soar.
1.Write it down
Begin every morning by writing down the three most important tasks you need to get done that day. Make sure these are as detailed as possible so you don’t have lose focus later on trying to remember everything you need to do for each. By writing your list down your day has a clear structure, meaning you’re much more likely to get everything you need to get done completed. If you’re unsure what the three most important tasks you need to do are, use the Eisenhower Matrix to find out! This handy grid splits your tasks into order of priority so you can clearly see what you need to work on.
It’s also helpful to write down your purpose every morning. What is it that drives you? Why did you start your business in the first place? What do you want to achieve? By reminding yourself of your purpose at the start of each day, you’ll increase your motivation and focus.
2.Block out your time
This is an easy hack that has a huge impact. By blocking out your calendar, you stop your time being hijacked by other people and wasted on tasks that won’t help you to achieve more. At the start of each day, block out certain times in your calendar to do your most important tasks. Make sure you match your tasks to your energy levels – if you feel most focussed at the start of each day, do your most complex tasks then, if you hit your peak towards the end of the day do them then!
Your working day should be built around when you perform best, so if a 9-5 doesn’t work for you, alter your hours to the times when you know you’re most productive. When you’re blocking out your time, it’s also useful to give yourself less time to complete each task. This creates a slight pressure which helps you to concentrate faster and reduce your chances of getting distracted.
3.Turn off your notifications
Email, social media and smartphones, prove a huge source of distraction. With every ding we hear, are brains become distracted from the task we were doing. It takes a huge amount of time to recover from these distractions and become refocused and if this is happening throughout your day, your productivity levels dip massively.
By turning off your notifications, you’re shutting off a huge source of distractration, saving you potentially hours of time which means that you’re more likely to achieve more without working harder.
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to delegate. So many entrepreneurs think they can do everything themselves but they can’t – nobody can! Delegating low-level recurring tasks saves you so much time and allows you to focus on the tasks that will help you and your business get ahead.
Since I founded my Virtual Assistant business, Time etc, in 2007, I’ve seen first-hand the power of delegation. Our clients have delegated more than two million tasks to our network of Assistants, which works out as an incredible 57 years of time they’ve gotten back. The top 1% of entrepreneurs in the world all got an Assistant on day one because they knew it was a vital part of success, so join them and start delegating!
5.Start saying “no”
We all feel the pressure to say “yes”. It offers the chance to experience new things, meet new people and improve our skills. Saying “yes” can open a lot of doors which is vital when running a business, but it can also lead to burnout and ultimately, failure.
The focus should be on quality not quantity. If you really want to start achieving more, you need to be able to start saying ”no”. By saying “no” more and only accepting invitations to events you know will benefit you and your business, you’ll remain focused on your goal, energised and a lot more productive.